GW Carver is probably unfortunately the worst elementary school my children have attended, and they have each attended different schools from all sides of the Roanoke Valley. The staff is very unapproachable. When I walk in, as I have done several times for various reasons, I never find a single staff member in the office with a smile. I am bluntly asked what I need. My needs regarding my child are addressed as if he/she is simply a body in the school, not a child who is worth something as an individual. He/she has had sudden illness waved off (not by the fault of the nurse- she is actually wonderful with the kids), which upsets me as it would any parent who works hard to give the best care for their child as they can. The kids are spoken to as if they were in a high school- blunt, and to the point. There is no love, no upbeat positivity, no nurturing, no gentleness or kindness that you would expect from an elementary school in a small city such as Salem. GW Carver really needs to focus more on their attitude for the sake of the children, and less on just 'running the place'- my kids are very sad there and have now developed a 'hate' for school, which they have never had before.
This school serves a widely diverse student population and has very professional and caring teachers, with few exceptions. The new principal is not nearly as approachable or interactive as the previous, and has instituted policies that discourage parental involvement and even presence at the school, treating well-recognized parents as potential threats to the students' safety. The physical education program is very poor. The instructors simply have the kids randomly throw balls around the gym, or run laps. Silly and preventable injuries from flying balls are common. There is no structured play. None. Kids don't learn anything at all from gym class - nothing about playing on a team, keeping score, rules of play, etc. It is a special occasion when they take a week to try to teach them how to skate. My child has never played kickball, basketball, dodgeball, or any other -ball sport during gym. Gym always happens in the gym - never outside, even on pretty days. I am appalled at the lack of any real physical education program. My child does not even look forward to it, and my child is naturally very athletic. What did you do in gym today? "Nothing." Maybe a hula hoop. ?!